Rents reach new all-time high, report warns
Rents have soared to a new all-time high, inflicting disastrous consequences on the country, a report has warned.
Average rents nationwide have rocketed by around 12% over the past year, smashing through Celtic Tiger levels in many cities and towns.
Ronan Lyons, Trinity College Dublin economist and author of the property website Daft.ie report, described the relentless rise in rental costs as grim.
"The figures from the third quarter of 2016 are worrying," he said.
"They include a new all-time high for the average monthly rent nationwide, the highest rate of annual inflation on record, as well as the joint highest quarterly increase in rents."
Most areas of the country - both in Dublin and outside the capital - are now seeing rents jump by more than 10% a year.
Mr Lyons said the increases are having a "disastrous effect" on communities as well as the country's economic outlook.
The latest analysis shows average Dublin rents are now at 1,580 euro - up more than 12% since last year; Cork at 1,087 euro, up over 14%; and Galway at 962 euro, up almost 11%.
Average rents in Limerick are up over 13% at 862 euro; while in Waterford they rose 11% to 735 euro.
Around the rest of the country, average rents now stand at 764 euro, up almost 11%.
These increases are the largest ever recorded by Daft.ie since it started compiling reports in 2002.
Huge demand for rental properties and too few available homes are being blamed for the sharp rises.
There were just over 3,600 properties available to rent around the country last month.
Just two years ago, at the same time of year, there were almost 6,000 rental properties listed nationwide.
Mr Lyons said part of the problem is also that Ireland also has lots of "non-families" living in family homes.
Government should be working to "tempt" these tenants into other accommodation, to promote homes suitable for older people and students, and to cutting exorbitant constructions costs, particularly for apartment buildings, he says.
"This latest report highlights that, without addressing that, rents will continue to rise and further damage Irish competitiveness and Irish social cohesion," he added.